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Have you ever wondered how evolution has altered the course of the human race, or questioned how quantum mechanics will change the future of technology?
If so, this course – the only one of its kind in the UK – guarantees to help you find the answers.
Led by some of Bristol’s world-leading scientists, this series of inspirational lectures explores the original ideas and concepts that lie at the heart of scientific enquiry.
From the magic numbers of the periodic table through to ants, bees and brains, you will learn about the history and the people behind the main discoveries and inventions of all time.
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Climate change is rarely out of the headlines yet there appears to be continued controversy over the science.
In this captivating lecture, Professor Paul Valdes of Bristol’s world-renowned Geographical Sciences department cuts through the popular misconceptions and the media hype and throws open the topic to ask what’s really happening to the planet, and what scientists and policy makers can do about it.
With global temperatures rising and arguably more uncertainty than uncontested facts, Professor Valdes asks, is it a key issue for our times or the biggest science fraud in history?
The balance of evidence supports the premise that climate is changing due to our activities and that there will be substantial changes to our environment in the future.
So the question is whether this change is dangerous and whether there is anything that science can do to help solve our most urgent problems.
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The collective behaviour of social insects may have more to teach us about the perfect social model than we might think.
This thought-provoking and entertaining lecture illustrates the notion of complexity sciences through the lens of biology, showing how social insect colonies are a manifestation of the last great evolutionary transition.
Professor Franks, who has studied social insects for over 30 years, demonstrates how ants and bees can solve problems beyond the scope of their individual members – much as brains are more sophisticated than their individual neurones.
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The theory of quantum mechanics has been hotly debated for over 100 years as our best description for the entire physical world.
But the behaviour of small particles is extremely unusual and defies the natural instinct to judge the world of objects based on what is visible to the human eye.
In the first part of this lecture, Professor Popescu, credited with establishing some of the central concepts in quantum information and computation, presents the basic ideas of this paradoxical theory.
Professor O’Brien, Director of Bristol’s Centre for Quantum Photonics and a renowned expert in quantum technology, goes on to explore how we can harness quantum mechanics to realise profoundly new technologies, from a super computer to cleaner energy devices.
The course consists of a series of lectures, tutorials and discussion groups.
Applications for this year's course are now full.
Students who wish to register their interest for future lectures should contact Lenka Cermakova.
The course is open to current 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students at the University of Bristol.
It accounts for 20 credit points.